Kathara Deftera is an important public holiday in Greece. It is the first day of the forty day fasting period before Easter that starts immediately after the carnival. It is called this way to indicate spiritual and physical cleansing and refers to Jesus Christ fasting for forty days in the wilderness. Katharà or Katharòs means ‘clean’ in Greek. The day of Clean Monday is sometimes called “Ash Monday,” by analogy to “Ash Wednesday,” the day during which Lent in western Christianity begins.
On Clean Monday, many Greeks travel to the countryside to fly a kite and to enjoy a picnic meal together. You can see kites everywhere on Clean Monday, they symbolize the spirit flying to heaven. The Greeks call this exodus to the countryside Koulouma. Families and friends meet and everyone will bring fasting foods and drinks. Wine is very popular on this occasion and there will often be singing and dancing. Clean Monday, however, is not only associated with eating permitted fasting food, it is also considered to mark the beginning of the spring season, the kite flying is also part of this tradition.
This post is part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.